I have been diagnosed with stage IIIB melanoma. I am considering taking Interferon treatments. I am recently divorced and live alone. One of my main concerns is how to deal with the side effects while being alone. Has anyone had Interferon while living alone? What were you able to do to to successfully get through the treatments?
I’m sorry you to see your diagnosis. You have come to the right place though!
Personally, I’d avoid interferon. Its effect on preventing a recurrence is small and there is no effect on overall survival for your Stage plus its side effects can be quite unpleasant and cumulative. The potential for psychological effects, especially depression, trouble me the most.
But you want to do something proactive right? Diet and exercise, especially cardio, you can do right now with your doctor’s supervision. They are great for both your body and mind. Speaking of the mind, there is meditation (such as Mindful Meditation), practicing your faith, and local cancer survivor groups you can join to help you cope with and ease your anxiety.
And there are adjuvant treatment oriented clinical trials for some of the latest therapies, like IPI, that you may qualify for. Perhaps others can chime in here with trial info but definitely talk to your doctor about them. I’d also serious consider seeing a melanoma specialists, if you’re not already, as they are considerably more plugged into the latest treatments and trials than your typical PC doctor or general oncologist.